In 1980, a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel (now Ballys) in Las Vegas killed 84 people and injured nearly 700. And just recently a fire charred the top four stories of the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. No one was seriously injured in the blaze, but the fire forced thousands of visitors and employees to evacuate.
Do you know how to protect yourself and your family in the event of a hotel fire? It’s not a subject most families talk about prior to leaving on vacation, but fire spreads quickly and it can often become life-threatening if you don’t know what to do.
Regardless of how much money you spent on your hotel room it is critical that you know how to exit it correctly when or if a fire were to break out.
The following are tips to follow in order to escape a hotel fire safely:
1. Listen carefully for instructions over the building’s emergency communications system.
2. Leave immediately in a calm manner. Do not try to round up your valuables or make a phone call. If your hotel is not equipped with an emergency communications system (or it is not working) follow the posted evacuation instructions.
3. Check closed doors for heat before you open them. Fire officials warn to never use the palm of your hand or your fingers to test for heat. Rather, they suggest using the back of your hand instead. Burning your fingers could impair your ability to escape from a fire.
4. Place a personalized item such as a piece of clothing or a bag outside your door as you exit your room to aid you in quickly finding your room should you need to return.
5. Make your way to the nearest exit stairwell that is free of fire and smoke. If one is not available then use the one that contains the least amount of smoke or fire.
6. Get on your hands and knees to breathe cleaner air.
7. Never use an elevator when evacuating a burning building.
8. Never reenter your hotel unless given proper authorization from officials to do so.